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The ERA undertakes inquiries referred to it by the State Government of Western Australia. The aim of these inquiries is to provide independent advice to Government on a specific issue or set of issues.

Inquiries can be undertaken on any economic issue, and need not relate to the regulation of utilities. The ERA has completed a range of inquiries including, Synergy’s electricity tariffs, and the enhancement of competition in the water sector, grain marketing, the chicken meat industry, and school bus contracting.

The ERA drew on information it received from the public in formulating its findings, in addition to research and expertise from other sources.

An inquiry is initiated when the Treasurer issues 'terms of reference' to the ERA. The terms of reference defines the scope, process and duration of an inquiry and whether a public consultation process will be undertaken. Where we do ask for public comment any member of the public can participate and we welcome feedback from all sectors of the Western Australian community.